It’s been nice, while acclimatising to being back home again after three weeks’ travelling, to remind myself of how lovely Scotland is too. In the first week back, in between sorting out my photos and blog posts about the big European adventure (they’ll be coming soon, I promise), I’ve been to Gruinard Bay and Dores beach.
Dores beach is a pretty iconic place for the Inverness area. Just eight or so miles from the city centre, It offers probably one of the most beautiful views of Loch Ness, it’s near the location of to the famous Rock Ness music festival (I must go one of these years), and is home to a madcap Nessie research centre and the outstanding Dores Inn (amazing quality pub grub with reasonable prices and excellent service – worth a visit if you’re in the area).
We went to Dores on Sunday, and it was notable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the little cairn/marker that they seem to have recently erected on the beach. I’m not sure why – everyone knows it’s Loch Ness, but I guess some tourists always like some sort of indicator in their photos.
Secondly, for I think the first time I can recall, it was a totally still day, with a complete absence of wind, rain or even cold. Normally you get the full brunt of a southerly wind that has had the thirty miles of Loch Ness to pick up a good head of steam, so there is always a stiff chill to the air.
Not this time, though. Just a chance to (figuratively) chill and enjoy the view of the calm loch stretching into the distance, framed by suitably brooding and mist-wrapped hillsides.
This is a beautiful part of the world. And it’s good to be back.